Stem direction and ties

I seem to be forcing errors (inadvertently) perhaps by using the wrong key commands or otherwise. Two examples are shown in the attachment.
First, after adding a second voice, a minim to D in bar 41, the subsequent voice 1 notes originally with stems up, changed to stem down. I forced them up as shown in bar 42 using Edit, force stems up to get the correct notation. Presumably that’s not usually required-so what am I doing wrong? As far as I know, I use the correct command Shift V to add the second voice and it should not matter if it has a different note value than the voice 1 note?
The second error I make is with tied notes; for example bar 43 I intend to tie the dotted Db to the minim. I select it, press T but as shown in bar 44, the note values change (don’t want that) and the stem directions change.
Any help appreciated.
Dorico 6.JPG

Turn on View-Voice Colors. You shouldn’t need to force any stems. It sounds like you have some bad voice management going on. You may need to select some notes and send them to the correct voice.

As much as possible, try not to force the stem direction if the issue is with voices, it will possibly make things confusing! Just in case you weren’t aware, “Up-stem voice 1” is the first voice, then “Down-stem voice 1” is the second voice (second overall, but first that is down-stem). Once you’ve got those voices in existence, you don’t need to press Shift-V when inputting notes to get to them - just V will cycle through all the voices that are active on that staff in the current flow. This might help you only use the voices you need, and they’ll probably be a bit more manageable automatically.

For the change in note duration, that’s almost certainly caused by the current settings for Note Grouping in Notation Options (which you can open from any mode by pressing Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-N). These settings determine how Dorico should group notes in different meters by default, meaning you don’t have to manually determine every note’s notated durations throughout the piece, and it also means they’re automatically updated and correct if you change the time signature or similar. If you find yourself in a situation where the Note Grouping settings in Notation Options don’t produce what you want, you can press O for “Force Duration” to input exactly what you want. (Notes with Force Duration set won’t update if you change the time signature, though.)

…Once you’ve got those voices in existence, you don’t need to press Shift-V when inputting notes to get to them - just V will cycle through all the voices that are active on that staff in the current flow. This might help you only use the voices you need, and they’ll probably be a bit more manageable automatically…
Thanks for that Lillie-obviously causing the problem I had with stems. I hadn’t read that command about V vs Shift V; in fact looking closely at the bottom panel it seems I’ve even got up to voice 10!

Now might be a good time to turn on View > Note and Rest Colors > Voice Colors.

The colors are tied to the order in which voices are created, as opposed to the numbers of each voice, but they’re still very helpful for seeing how your voices are interconnected, at a glance.

Thanks “pianoleo”. Following up Lillie’s point about V vs Shift V, I just again read the manual for inputting voices. I’m not sure that the instructions on p 172-173 are all that clear. If I’d read … you don’t need to press Shift-V when inputting notes to get to them - just V will cycle … may have avoided the mess.
In my next piece, I’m certain I’ll just need a second voice. So I’d press Shift V to add that voice the first time. In subsequent bars which only need a second voice, do I just press V? Anyway, the carat tells me whether its +2 or +3 etc?

After you’ve used Shift-V to introduce the next voice, just pay attention to what the little orange crotchet/quarter next to the caret is showing you. If its stem is pointing up and there’s no number showing, you’re about to type into Upstem Voice 1. If its stem is pointing down, you’re about to type into Downstem Voice 1. If its stem is pointing up and there’s a little 2, you’re about to type into Upstem Voice 2. Use V to cycle round the voices that already exist.

Thanks again,
Still a bit confusing however; I do have many years of experience adding voices to music and understand stem directions. In the future I’ll pay attention to the guide below showing the voice number and stem direction. But if I execute Shift V below a note I wish to start a second voice, add them and then stop, I expected (intuitively) that later in the score, where second voices are needed, I’d have to Shit V again-that is starting a new sequence independent of what voices were added previously?

You only need to create each new voice once per staff, per flow. Once you’ve got some notes in that voice, then you can toggle to that voice with V at any point in the staff/flow.

It might not feel intuitive (though if you’re coming from Sibelius or Finale where the overall number of voices is limited to four, and you’re always recycling the same voices, I can’t see why not). There are situations where it’s helpful to be consistent with your voice numbers and directions: you might want to expand a piano sketch to an ensemble quickly, for instance, or take advantage of Dorico’s Independent Voice routing (playback), and telling Dorico “do this with downstem voice 1 throughout” is vastly quicker than telling Dorico “do this with downstem voice 1 for bars 2-6, then do the same thing but with downstem voice 2 for bars 8-10, then do the same thing but with upstem voice 6 whose stems I’ve flipped down in bars 38-41”.
On the whole, though, efficient use of the same voices is for your benefit rather than Dorico’s: Dorico can handle an unlimited number of voices per instrument.

Noel, your point about the relevant docs topic is fair I think, so I’ve rewritten it to make the distinction/choice to be made between Shift-V and V more explicit at that early stage. The topic was originally primarily intended for teaching people how to add a voice, but as nothing can be presumed, it needs to be clearer about the possibilities at play. (always the possibilities :wink: )

That will be published when I next do an update, which will be in the 3.5 manual (that doesn’t yet exist!).

Good on you Lillie; I’m sure it will help old blokes like me who may be set in their ways!

And thanks pianoleo for explanations; my point about intuition not based on a comparison with the other notation systems, more to do with how I read the manual instruction.